Anri Kawai taken to hospital by ambulance after overdose

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Former House of Councillors lawmaker Kawai Anri was taken to a hospital in Tokyo by an ambulance after overdosing on sleeping pills on Thursday, police sources said Friday.

Kawai, 48, is not in a life-threatening condition, according to the sources.

The Metropolitan Police Department received an emergency call in the evening from a relative of Kawai who claimed to have been told “goodbye” from her over the phone. Police officers then found the former lawmaker in a stupor at her home.

Kawai has been found guilty by Tokyo District Court of buying votes for herself in the 2019 election for the upper chamber of parliament, in violation of the public offices election law. In the election, she had won a seat from the Hiroshima prefectural constituency in western Japan.

According to the ruling, she gave a total of ¥1.6 million in cash to Hiroshima prefectural assembly members to ask them to round up votes, conspiring with former Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai, her 58-year-old husband.

The district court ruling became final in February 2021, suspending her civil rights for five years.